Published on February 25, 2019


Rugs are one of the best and easiest ways to add a rich dose of style to a room, regardless of its aesthetic. Aside from their standard appeal, they contribute a fresh textural layer, a burst of color, eye-catching prints, and warmth to a space that would otherwise be lacking. We know they look fantastic on wood, concrete, and tile floors, but what about on carpeting?

The thought of layering up here may seem counter-intuitive but the design reward is well worth it. The right rug can actually look flawless when placed atop carpeted floors. Whether you’re in a rented space and hate your carpet or you simply want extra plush floors, these are the best ways for you to add rugs over carpet. 

Layer in Threes

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What’s better than a double stack of cozy landing pads? Three chic patterns artfully set atop one another. Earmark this one for the little ones’ room for an extra dose of plush comfort.

Switch Up the Styles

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Add interest to a basic jute rug by pairing it with a vibrantly patterned piece, preferably one that comes smaller in size. Take a style cue from Kim West’s blue-toned living room and couple the basic with a patterned cowhide.

A Statement-Worthy Focal Point

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Photography by KERRY KIRK

While we love a room that’s not afraid to play with a range of patterns, colors, and textures, even the most dynamic of spaces needs a visual anchor. Now a powerful grounding force, the striking black and white rug in this stellar superhero-inspired nursery not only serves as a graphic point of departure for the other wild elements in the space (like that seriously cool wall mural), but also comes in handy as an extra soft landing pad for the room’s itty-bitty inhabitant.

A Place With Purpose

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Photography by MOLLY CULVER

When Austin-based health and wellness expert Susan Chen moved into her new digs, a meditation room was at the top of her must-have list. What better way to signal her dedicated place of relaxation than with a dark statement rug? Thanks to its well-defined borders, Chen’s navy blue stunner is a signal to both her and her fellow meditators to zen out.

The One Runner

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Photography by CHAD MELLON

When you’ve just paid to have new carpeting installed, it can feel counterintuitive to cover up your fresh floors. But as this serene SoCal abode can attest that you can love your carpet and still have a little vintage fun at the same time. Although much of the master bedroom has been left untouched, an accent runner in the hallway leading toward the bathroom offers a stylish transition into a new space.

Monochromatic Layers

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Photography by TAYLOR STERLING

One of the most seamless ways to go about sprucing up your neutral carpet is to use a neutral rug. The addition of some extra texture will make the room more interesting, yet it’s subtle. Try this technique when you don’t want to splurge on a major statement-making rug.

Added Definition

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Photography by Yazy Jo

You may have your doubts about how a cowhide would look on a carpeted floor, but when done right it becomes a great statement. An oversized cowhide will highlight your furniture and draw eyes where you want them to be looking.

Chic Decor

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Photography by Laure Joliet

The simple elements of this bedroom make the space feel minimalist and dreamy. The rug at the foot of the bed ties the look together by elongating the sleeping space and balancing the understated headboard and bedding.

By Design Style

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Photography by Rennai Hoefer; Room and Styling by Alex Evjen; Designed with Decorist

Rugs are a great way to achieve a certain style. Whether you want to add traditional aspects to your interior or create a boho oasis, rugs can help. The bed frame, wall hanging, and accents of this bedroom are elevated by the addition of a statement rug.

Unexpected Contrast

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Photography by LAURE JOLIET

While most carpet is beige these days, sometimes you come across a bolder style like this dark gray. When that’s the case, opt for a rug with major contrast. A traditional red rug paired with this dark carpet brings the room to life. This masculine combination will turn any room into an ultra-sophisticated space.

Full Coverage

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Photography by  Emmy Lowe

If you really hate your carpet situation and simply have to live with it, there’s a solution: Get an area rug that covers the entire floor. This is also a great alternative as a temporary situation if you’re in a rental or are in the process of updating your home. Make sure this rug isn’t too overwhelming in print or color since it’ll be covering a lot of space.

This story was originally published March 23, 2017. It has been updated with new information.

See more fun ways to play with rugs:

How to Layer Rugs
10 Ways to Show off Your Kilim Rugs
14 Rooms That Will Inspire You to Try a Round Rug

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